Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 2/2.1.2

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What are the philosophies of education?
By: user kbucc002



Learning Targets

1. The student should be able to identify the different philosophies of education

2. The student should be able to apply the different philosophies of education to application questions



Introduction

There are many different philosophies of education that exist today. These philosophies are perennialism, progressivism, reconstructionism, positivism, constructivism, behaviorism, humanism, and essentialism (Ganly, 2007). Behind the scenes every school system works off a philosophy of education. It is very likely that in every classroom more than one philosophy is used (Maya). Some of these philosophies are student-centered while others are teacher-centered (Ganly, 2007). Each of these philosophies varies greatly from each other. Today, schools mostly use a combination of each to provide students with a greater range of learning opportunities.


Perennialism

Perennialism is a teacher-centered philosophy that views principles of existence as constant or unchanging (Ganly, 2007). Perennialism is based on the view that reality comes from fundamental fixed truths-especially related to God. It believes that people find truth through reasoning and revelation and that goodness is found in rational thinking. Schools that teach reason and God’s will are schools that use the perennialism form of educational philosophy (Kurtus, 2001).


Progressivism

Progressivism is a student-centered philosophy that believes that ideas should be tested by experimentation and learning comes from finding answers from questions (Ganly, 2007). This philosophy is the first that takes the three learning types into consideration. Those three types are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. This approach uses thought provoking games, books, field trips, and experimentation. The progressivism philosophy is not centered around the main goal of educating students for adulthood but to enrich the educational growth process (Maya).


Reconstructionism

Reconstructionism is also a student-centered philosophy that promotes world social progress. It focuses on world events, controversial issues, and the vision on a new better world (Ganly, 2007). Reconstructionist educators focus on a curriculum that highlights social reform as the aim of education. They also believe that systems must be changed to overcome oppression and improve human conditions (Cohen, 1999).


Positivism

Positivism is a teacher-centered philosophy that rejects intuition, matters of mind, essences, and inner cause. It relies on laws of matter and motion as valid and bases truth on provable fact (Ganly, 2007). The Positivists conceived of primordial matter as a unique reality having the power of evolving from the lower to the higher forms, mechanically and by means of immanent energy (The Radical Academy, 2003).


Constructivism

Constructivism is a student-centered philosophy that emphasizes hands on learning and students actively participating in lessons. This philosophy believes that students should be able to discover lessons on their own because using hands on learning is one of the most effective forms of learning (Ganly, 2007).


Behaviorism

Behaviorism is another teacher-centered philosophy that focuses on human behavior as a reaction to outside stimuli and believes that the changing environment can change a student’s misbehavior (Ganly, 2007). John Watson, the known founder of behaviorism, believed that any human being could be reprogrammed to acquire any skill (Maya).


Humanism

Humanism is yet another student-centered philosophy that focuses on enhancing ones innate goodness, rejects the ideas of group oriented education, and upholds the idea of enhancing individual development. It also believes that all students should be involved with their education on all levels, and students should be able to make choices about what they will be learning (Ganly, 2007).


Essentialism

Essentialism is the last teacher-centered philosophy in this article. It believes that there is a common set of skills and knowledge. It focuses on respect for developing sound habits of the mind and training in fundamentals (Ganly, 2007). Educators of this philosophy teach the basic skills of math, science, history, foreign language, and literature. Since it is a teacher-centered philosophy, they are responsible for installing moral values that will help each student become an ideal citizen. The students are taught all factual information and no vocational skills (Maya).


Conclusion

The above philosophies: perennialism, progressivism, reconstructionism, positivism, constructivism, behaviorism, humanism, and essentialism are few of the many that exist in many school systems today. Some are used independently while others are used in combination. Each educator may have their own philosophy which they incorporate either teacher-centered philosophies or student-centered philosophies.

“Your enthusiasm for the subject cannot be ignored. And, like wonderful perfume,
will permeate the one who gives it as much as it will the ones who receive it.”
-H.G. Cadenas


These philosophies vary greatly from each other but they are all used in the good intentions of teaching students. No matter what philosophy is used, being an educator is a great accomplishment and can definitely be understood by H.G. Candenas when he stated that “Your enthusiasm for the subject cannot be ignored. And, like wonderful perfume, will permeate the one who gives it as much as it will the ones who receive it.”



Questions

1. The educational philosophy that reality comes from truths especially related to God is

A. Essentialism

B. Humanism

C. Perennialism

D. Reconstructionism


2. The educational philosophy that focuses to reaction on outside stimuli is

A. Behaviorism

B. Constructivism

C. Perennialism

D. Positivism


3. Mrs. Smith is taking her students on a field trip to the Virginia Air and Space Museum. Which philosophy best describes the way in which Mrs. Smith teaches?

A. Constructivism

B. Humanism

C. Progressivism

D. Reconstructionism


4. After regular school, Sarah attends church school at her local church. Which philosophy of education best describes the way in which her church school classroom is taught?

A. Bahaviorism

B. Essentialism

C. Humanism

D. Perennialism


References

Cadenas, H. G. (1999). Revitalize your teaching--four key elements for success. Wilson Web. Retrieved February 17, 2009, from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com.proxy.lib.odu.edu/hww/results/results_single.jhtml;hwwilsonid=5SSZ40UVIOZBRQA3DIMSFGOADUNGIIV0

Cohen, L. (1999). Philosophical perspectivies in education. Retrieved February 21, 2009, from http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/PP3.html

Ganly, S. (2007). Educational philosophies in the classroom: the categories of various teaching philosophies. Retrieved February 17, 2009, from https://archive.is/20130628165859/www.associatedcontent.com/article/352631/educational_philosophies_in_the_classroom_pg2.html?cat=4

Kurtus, R. (2001). Philosophies of education. Retrieved February 17, 2009, from http://www.school-for-champions.com/education/philosophies.htm

Maya, B. The five key educational philosophies. Retrieved February 17, 2009, from http://www.helium.com/items/424989-the-five-key-educational-philosophies

Modern philosophy: The philosophy of positivism (2003). The Radical Academy. Retrieved February 21, 2009, from http://www.radicalacademy.com/adiphilpositivism.htm

Peters, R. S. (1977). Philosophies of education. JSTOR Philosophy, 52. Retrieved February 17, 2009, from http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.odu.edu/stable/3749547?&Search=yes&term=education&term=philosophies&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dphilosophies%2Bof%2Beducation%26wc%3Don%26dc%3DAll%2BDisciplines&item=21&ttl=21180&returnArticleService=showArticle



Answers

1. C

2. A

3. C

4. D

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